Things to Do

Families have been enjoying trips to Mackinac Island for decades. Now that you’ve arrived, what activities are you going to do? The possibilities are endless! Things to do on Mackinac Island range from exceptional shopping, biking around the island, seeing world-famous views, and visiting historic sites. Read on for more Mackinac Island activities and check out some more businesses here! And at the end of the day, after your adventures, you'll know you have our cottages on Mackinac Island to stay at.


It’s hard to visit Mackinac Island and not visit a gift shop for themed souvenirs for the kids (and you!). Looking for fun? Caddywampus is a toy shop for the whole family. If books are more your style, check out the Island Bookstore. For Mackinac home décor and artsy gifts, try Little Luxuries. It wouldn’t be a trip to Mackinac Island without picking up some famous fudge from Joann’s Fudge or the Original Murdick’s Fudge.

Biking, Hiking & Other Outdoor Activities

Mackinac Island Arch RockRent a bike from the Mackinac Island Bike Shop and hop on the paved trail that circles the island. Biking around the island is an 8-mile ride and takes between 1 and 3 hours, depending on how often you stop to take in the views. If 8 miles seems a little daunting, there are shorter trails available. On the East side of the Island sits Arch Rock--a famous rock formation over fifty feet wide that Mackinac Island tourists have enjoyed for years. Marquette Park and area playgrounds offer families a fun way to spend an afternoon while enjoying a sunny Mackinac Island summer day. You can also explore Mackinac Island on foot using the extensive trail system throughout the island. The location of our Mackinac Island lodging allows you to start your adventure right from our front porch! Mackinac Island is famous for breathtaking photography opportunities along the coast of Lake Huron and the interior of the island. 

How long does it take to bike around Mackinac Island?

Biking around Mackinac Island takes about 1 hour without stopping. The loop around the outside of the island takes you along M-185, and is 8.2 miles long. However, we prefer to stop along the way for all the beautiful sights! We recommend planning 1.5 hours to bike around the Island so you can stop along the way for views of the water and the Mackinac Bridge. 

Sightseeing & Historical Sites

Mackinac Island is known for its Butterfly House and Insect Museum where you can see stunning live butterflies from several continents. There are also several historical parks and sites for which Mackinac Island is famous (Mackinac State Historic Parks recently celebrated 125 years of operation). Fort Mackinac dates back to the American Revolution. The original buildings that offer a view of the Straits of Mackinac still stand and there are reenactments available for your educational entertainment.

If a day of historical sightseeing interests your family, here are some great locations to visit:

Enjoying the views of the island on horseback is another great way to tour the island. There are over 83 miles of trails to enjoy! Cindy’s Riding Stable offers horseback riding, and Jack’s Livery Stable allows you to drive your own horse drawn carriage! If you prefer a historic tour, Mackinac Island Carriage Tours takes you around the island while providing history and information about the best spots to see.

Taking the walk to view the Mackinac Bridge is well worth the trip. Located on the West side of the island, the Mighty Mac provides excellent photo opportunities at sunset. Pick up an evening ice cream cone at Ryba’s Fudge Shop, then walk about 10 minutes West down main street until you see the bridge.

Dining on Mackinac Island

Part of the excitement of a vacation is the food! Whether it's discovering a brand new family favorite or visiting your stand-by favorite restaurant, Mackinac Island restaurants offer a variety of wonderful experiences that are sure to please. If you're in the mood for breakfast food when you visit Mackinac Island, check out the Pancake House. Open late for pizza cravings, Island Slice Pizzeria has a convenient location on Main street. Local coffee shops like Lucky Bean Coffee House and Good Day Café are good for a quick pick-me-up during your day out and about. The Chuckwagon features classic and delicious diner fare.